Back to EveryPatent.com
|United States Patent
April 21, 1992
A device for manipulating a zipper comprising a slider with a base and a
handle to which a pull is fastened. The pull is made of plastic and has
portions which are so dimensioned that, when they contact the base and the
handle of the slider, they are momentarily deformed, enabling the pull to
pivot on the handle and subsequently to return to a stable position.
Foreign Application Priority Data
Aussedat; Franck (Annecy Le Vieux, FR)
Salomon S.A. (Chavanod, FR)
December 27, 1990|
|Current U.S. Class:
||24/429; 24/419 |
|Field of Search:
U.S. Patent Documents
|2736079||Feb., 1956||Staller et al.||24/429.
|Foreign Patent Documents|
Primary Examiner: Sakran; Victor N.
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Pollock, Vande Sande & Priddy
What is claimed is:
1. Device for the manipulation of a zipper closure comprising a slider (1)
movable along a slide track and provided with a base (1a) and a handle (2)
to which is fastened a pull (3) made of a plastic material and capable of
pivoting longitudinally in relation to said handle (2), said handle (2)
passing through an aperture (4) in said pull (3) separated from an end of
said pull by a solid part (5) of said pull, said device comprising at
least one hard point of contact between a first part (5a, 5b) of said pull
cooperating with said handle (2) and a second part (6a, 6b) of said pull
cooperating with said base (1a) of said slider, said hard point of contact
being created by provision of a distance (b, f+g) between said first and
second parts (5a, 5b; 6a, 6b) of said pull greater than a distance (a)
between an inner edge of said handle (2) and said base (1a) of said
slider, whereby said parts (5a, 5b; 6a, 6b) are momentarily deformed when
in contact with said handle (2) and said base (1a) of said slider.
2. Device according to claim 1, wherein said hard point of contact is
created in a longitudinal direction (L) of said pull.
3. Device according to claim 2, wherein said end of said pull (3) is
located beneath said handle (2) and beyond said aperture (4) and is made
of an elastic material, and wherein an edge (4a) of said aperture (4) is
separated from said end of said pull (3) by a distance (b) which is
slightly greater than said distance (a) between said inner edge (2a) of
said handle (2) and said base (1a) of said slider (1).
4. Device according to claim 3, wherein said solid part (5) separating said
aperture (4) from said end of said pull (3) has, in the area of said
aperture (4), a dimension (c) which is less than said distance (b) by an
amount smaller than said distance (a).
5. Device according to claim 4, wherein said solid part (5) of said pull
comprises at least one side having a dimension (d) greater than a
transverse dimension (e) of said aperture (4).
6. Device according to claim 5, wherein said solid part (5) comprises two
sides having a dimension (d) greater than said transverse dimension of
said aperture (4).
7. Device according to claim 1, wherein said hard point is created in a
direction of said pull perpendicular to a plane of said pull.
8. Device according to claim 7, wherein said solid part (5) has a thickness
(f), and wherein said pull comprises, on at least one lateral edge (6) of
said pull, at least one projecting boss (6b) delimiting, in relation to
said thickness (f), an increased dimension (g) such that said increased
dimension (f+g) is greater than said distance (a) between said inner edge
of said handle (2) and said base (1a) of said slider.
9. Device according to claim 1, wherein said pull (3) comprises an
intermediate zone (7) which absorbs flexion and torsion forces and
deformation exerted by a user of said device.
10. Device according to claim 9, wherein said intermediate zone (7) has at
least one reduced section (8) affecting at least one of its width and
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention concerns zipper closures, and relates more especially
to a pull for manipulating a slider belonging to such zipper, which
equips, in particular, an article capable of movement.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
On articles which, by their nature, are subject to regular, repetitive, or
accidental movements, e.g., shoes, articles of clothing, portable bags,
etc. fitted with conventional zipper closures, the pull used to manipulate
the slider is subject to undesirable, noisy rolling, and is capable of
catching on or bumping into external objects with which it may
accidentally come into contact.
To overcome these difficulties, attempts have therefore been made to impart
to the pull of the slider one or several stable positions whenever the
pull is not manipulated, thus preventing it from rolling and allowing the
pull to be held in a position which avoids undesirable contact with
It has thus been proposed to equip the slider pull and the corresponding
part of the article carrying the closure with a catch device, for example
of the buckle-and-hook type, sometimes known as "velcro." Besides the fact
that this solution can be implemented only for a single end closing
position and not for several successive discrete positions, and is
applicable even less in a continuous arrangement, it requires additional
cutting, sewing, and stitching operations which entail costs that are very
high, if not prohibitive.
A device has also been proposed comprising, beneath the handle of the
slider to which the pull is securely connected, a spring blade which
exerts stress on the end of the pull so as to immobilize it in one or
several stable positions with respect to the handle. This solution which,
when compared with the preceding one, has the advantage of not depending
on the momentary position of the slider along the slide track, is also
very costly and not very reliable in relative terms, especially when the
number of components and the problems of assembly and wear are considered.
Yet another solution, which, however, is applicable only to zippers in
which complementary racks fit into each other, calls for fitting the pull
with a hook which, when the pull is pressed down on the slide track only
in the closing position, cooperates when engaged between the teeth of the
racks to block any translational movement of the pull and the slider in
this flattened position, for as long as any external action does not
release it from this position. Because of problems of wear, and in order
for it to remain reliable after a reasonable number of handling
operations, the pull must be made of metal; furthermore, it damages to a
greater or lesser extent the teeth of the racks with which it becomes
engaged so as to effect immobilization, an arrangement which obviously
affects their life.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention seeks to overcome the difficulties or insufficiencies
of the state of the art which have just been mentioned, by proposing for a
zipper, whether or not equipped with racks, a device comprising a
pull-equipped slider, in which the pull, whatever the position of the
slider along the zipper, may, with respect to the slider itself, be
immobilized in at least one stable position, in particular in an effaced
position, by being pressed down on the zipper, without making use of known
state-of-the-art arrangements and thus avoiding the difficulties
associated with them.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The characteristics and advantages of the invention will emerge from the
following description, for the understanding of which reference will be
made to the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a longitudinal axial section of a part of a slider equipped with
a handle cooperating with a pull according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is a top view on an enlarged scale corresponding to the section in
FIG. 3 is a top elevation view of the pull in the preceding Figures, not
mounted on the slider;
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal axial section corresponding to FIG. 3;
FIGS. 5 and 6 are views similar to that in FIG. 3, representing two
different embodiments of the pull;
FIG. 7 is a view, similar to FIG. 1, of another embodiment of the pull;
FIG. 8 is a longitudinal axial section view of the pull in FIG. 7; and
FIG. 9 is a top view of the pull in FIG. 7.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
According to the present invention, the zipper closure, and especially the
slider 1 associated with it, may be of any conventional type, the base of
the slider 1 cooperating with the slide tracks or racks (not shown), and
this slider 1 having a handle 2 to which a pull 3 is fastened for
manipulating this slider 1.
As already described, without provision of additional parts on the pull 3
or the slider 1 and possibly by cooperating with supplementary external
parts, the invention seeks to provide for the pull 3 at least one stable
position, in particular an effaced position which prevents it from
This position is ensured by the creation of at least one "hard" or
resistance point having an upper stress threshold and which establishes
contact between the part of the pull 3 cooperating with the handle 2 and
the base of the slider 1 at the level of the handle 2.
As shown by the drawings, the lower end of the pull 3, which has a
conventional overall shape, i.e., that of a rectangular parallelepiped, is
provided with an aperture 4 having a conventional, approximately
rectangular shape through which the handle 2 passes with play sufficient
for the manipulation of the pull 3 longitudinally in either direction so
as to move the slider 1 along its slide track. The lower edge of this
aperture 4 is separated from the end 6a of the pull 3 by a solid part 5
over a length of the pull referenced as b in longitudinal direction L.
According to the invention, this distance b is slightly greater than
distance a separating the lower edge 2a of the handle 2 from the base 1a
of the slider 1. Thus, when pressed down in rest position on either side
of the slider 1 along the slide track, the pull 3 is no longer free to
pivot around an axis transverse to the handle 2, and its effaced position
is thus stable by virtue of the existence of the resistance point in the
longitudinal direction of the pull in relation to the handle, resulting
from the greater dimension of distance b as compared with distance a.
It will be noted that the resistance point is obtained by the cooperation
of the surfaces 5a, 6a of the pull with the surfaces 2a and 1a,
respectively, of the handle and the slider.
The end of the pull 3 and/or the handle 2 must, therefore, necessarily be
made of a material whose elasticity is sufficient so that, because of
momentary deformation caused by the manipulation stress exerted by the
user, the pull 3 can pivot on the handle 2. Once the action exerted by the
user has been completed, the elasticity will, depending on the position of
release, bring the pull 3 back into the stable position either in front of
or behind the slider 1, or else it will leave it balanced in its median
intermediate position, i.e., perpendicular to the base of the slider 1.
Thus, without any special indexing device, at least three stable positions
of the pull 3 in relation to the slider 1 are obtained, in particular two
effaced positions, in which the pull 3 is completely immobilized in
relation to the slider 1. It is obvious that the intermediate stable,
uneffaced position is less advantageous in use, but may nevertheless offer
advantages during zipper assembly operations, for example, or for other
less conventional handling operations or uses.
For greater ease of manufacture and, therefore, for reasons of cost,
advantage is gained by imparting the required elasticity not to the handle
2, but rather to the pull 3, at least to its end cooperating with the
handle 2 and the base of the slider 1.
However, if frequent handling is required, depending on the article in
question carrying the zipper and also depending on environmental,
especially climatic, conditions in which these operations are to be
performed, one may encounter untimely cases of pressing or jamming which
may lead to damage rendering the closure device virtually unusable.
Furthermore, even excluding extreme situations, problems involving the
wear of surfaces in contact may ultimately be encountered which, while not
necessarily damaging the functioning of the closure, will no longer enable
the pull 3 to maintain its stable effaced positions.
Thus, according to one preferred embodiment, action is undertaken to
promote and manage the elasticity phenomenon described above.
For this purpose, the solid part 5 of the pull 3 separating the aperture 4
from the lower end 6a of the pull has, in the area of this aperture 4 and
excluding the lateral edges 6, in relation to dimension b, an indentation
10 constituting a reduced dimension c (best seen in FIG. 3), such that the
reduced dimension b-c is in all cases less than, or at most equal to,
distance a which is delimited by the handle 2. Thus, the solid part 5
forms a deformation beam which, during manipulation, will facilitate the
elastic spacing of the lateral edges 6 of the end of the pull 3, and will
prevent them from being crushed and thus worn against the base of the
slider 1. Thus, elastic deformation is favored over crushing and the
resulting wear caused by friction. The two lateral edges 6 continue
nonetheless, in the absence of manipulation, to fulfill their function of
delimiting the stable positions of the pull 3 in relation to the handle 2
of the slider 1.
Because the invention dictates the choice of a sufficiently elastic and
strong material for the pull 3, and thus, advantageously, of a modern
plastic material, it is possible to profit from these mechanical
qualities, so as to gain an additional advantage while remaining within
the scope of the invention, as will now be described.
Conventional slider pulls are, as already stated, rigid and thus capable
only of negligible deformation, torsion, and flexion. When torsion and
flexion are exerted, this stiffness causes tearing of the handle or
deterioration of critical parts of the pull, especially when the zippers
are distant or slightly, virtually or easily accessible to the user, and
sometimes in extreme conditions, for example, in winter sports boots for
which gripping with gloves is not easily accomplished.
To limit these effects of torsion and flexion, i.e., to limit the stresses
on the handle, conventional practice calls for making the pull extremely
small, which still makes manipulation difficult with gloved hands.
According to the invention, the elasticity of the material used is adjusted
so as to reduce to a virtually negligible degree the transmission of
torque and flexion stresses on the handle, and simultaneously, to impart
to the pull a larger section and more generally, larger dimensions,
especially as regards length, while increasing both its durability and
ease of gripping of the pull, even with a gloved hand.
For this purpose, the pull is fitted, between its already described zone of
cooperation with the handle 2 and its gripping zone 9 (shown in FIGS. 3
and 4), with an intermediate zone 7 which absorbs torsion and flexion
forces and deformations. This privileged deformation zone 7 is composed of
at least one, and preferably several, reductions of section 8 which affect
either its width, as regards essentially torsion, or its thickness, as
regards flexion, and advantageously, both simultaneously, as shown in
FIGS. 3 and 4.
FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate other embodiments of the pull making it possible
to increase the elastic properties of the beam constituted by the solid
Thus, in FIG. 5, the indentation 10 constituting the reduction of dimension
c has, in the plane of the pull, a transverse dimension d greater than the
transverse dimension e of the aperture 4, this last dimension e
corresponding substantially to the width of the handle 2, so as to allow
manipulation of the pull in relation to the handle without excessive play.
This arrangement makes it possible to increase the deformable part of the
beam 5 and thereby makes it possible to increase the deformation
properties of the latter.
In FIG. 6, the aperture 4 allowing the passage of the handle is
substantially T shaped, the narrowest part 4a of the aperture having a
transverse dimension e corresponding substantially to the width of the
handle 2 and whose widest part 4b has a transverse dimension d greater
than the transverse dimension e.
In this case, the indentation 10 constituting the dimension reduction c has
a transverse dimension at least equal to the transverse dimension d of the
This makes it possible to elongate the entirety of the beam 5 and thus to
increase its deformation properties.
Other embodiments may, of course, be contemplated in order to increase the
deformation properties of the solid part 5 forming the beam.
FIGS. 7 to 9 show another embodiment of the pull designed to ensure its
total immobilization in relation to the handle in rest position, i.e., in
the position in which the pull is pressed down along the slide track.
In fact, although this position is a stable one, the presence of play in
the vertical direction between the handle 2 and the pull 3 required for
manipulation of the latter may cause slight "pivoting" of the pull, even
in the stable position. Complete immobilization of the pull in this
position is ensured by the creation of a hard point between the pull and
the handle, no longer in the longitudinal direction of the pull as in the
case shown in FIGS. 1 to 6, but in a direction transverse to the plane of
the pull, and, in this particular case, vertically.
The hard point is obtained by providing, on the lateral edges 6 of the end
of the pull 3, bosses 6b projecting transversely on either side of
surfaces 5b of the solid part 5 of the pull.
As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, each of these bosses 6b delimits, in relation to
the solid part 5 having a transverse dimension or thickness f, an
increased dimension g such that f+g>a, dimension f being slightly less
than dimension a.
Surfaces 5b, 6b of the pull, which cooperate with the surfaces 2a and 1a,
respectively, of the handle and of the slider 1, delimit, in conjunction
with these latter, a "hard" point extending in the transverse direction of
the pull ensuring the complete immobilization of the pull in rest